Spicing Up Your Pasta! (Win $100 Gift Card)

CONTESTS | | September 1, 2011 at 10:38 am

CONTEST CLOSED!

Congratulations Mami2jcn!

By now you know I am a Ragu “Mom’s the word on Dinner” ambassador and over the next few months I will be sharing ideas with you and doing some a lot of learning too. Changing up a meal can change up the mood. I am in a bit of a funk and was thinking of actually painting my lounge this long weekend. Food, though, is much easier to kick up a notch. Sometimes when you say pasta people conjure images of a bland and boring meal whilst I just believe it to be like a canvas for anything you want it to be. Whether a casserole, soup, sauce or sweet dish – pasta has the ability to morph as you desire.

When I heard about spicing up your pasta I wanted to share what I would do to spice up pasta: surprise – it is actually SPICE! I can’t help it, it runs through my veins – I spice up everything. Whether it is my chai or food I like to pep it up. I also love to know my spice and normally buy them whole. To spice up pasta I like to give the Ragu tomato sauce a little bit of sizzle.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 garlic minced
  • 1/2 red onion – diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of Ragu tomato sauce
Here’s what I did next…
I saute the onions in the oil until translucent, then add the garlic which roasts for a minute. Then I add all the rest of the ingredients except the sauce. I let the spice roast only for a quick minute, else it would burn, and then add the Ragu sauce. Heat through and turn off the heat. Now you can use this sauce for anything from veggies, meat or as is.

Now something for a lucky reader of Mommy Niri (and hint – there will be more of these coming along)!

Want to win a $100 American Express Gift Card?

To win tell me how would you spice up pasta?  Winner chose by random.org. USA  only.

To earn extra entries, after you have left a comment, do one of the following, but make sure you leave a separate comment entry for each extra thing you do (please DO NOT leave your email address within the comment!!!).

These give you additional ways to enter the contest but are optional entries. Contest closes 9th September 2011.

  • Subscribe to Mommy Niri (and verify the subscription to be valid) and leave a separate comment that you did. Already a subscriber (thank you) then leave a comment stating you are.
  • Tweet it using the green Tweet button above. Then leave a comment you did.
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Don’t forget to visit out other fabulous giveaways on MommyNiri.com

Disclosure: This is part of a campaign where I am an Ambassador in the Ragú® Mom’s the Word on Dinner Program. Visit www.facebook.com/ragusauce to join the conversation.
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587 Comments

  1. 401
    ellen says:

    I am one of your FB fans ellen beck

  2. 402
    ellen says:

    I am an email subscriber

  3. 403
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    Chase Taylor says:

    I like to spice up pasta by adding red pepper to the tomato sauce.

  5. 405
    Chase Taylor says:

    I like Mommy Niri on FB.

  6. 406
    Angela Winesburg says:

    I spice it up with peppers and chilis

  7. 407
    Angela Winesburg says:

    Email Subscriber, thanks!

  8. 408
    Angela Winesburg says:

    Liked you on FB (AngelaWinesburg)

  9. 409
  10. 410

    When I make spaghetti I not only season the sauce but the water the pasta cooks in too. I add fresh minced garlic and Italian seasoning to the water and cook the pasta in it, I also add the same to my sauce.

  11. 411
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    Like Mommy Niri on Facebook- Kimberley Rose Meier

  13. 413
    Charlotte Varner says:

    To spice it up I use:

    Chopped fresh tomatoes
    Thinly sliced onion
    Sliced julienne (browned in olive oil)
    Red pepper flakes to taste
    A bit of salt
    Basil
    Ground pepper
    Ragu Traditional Sauce

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    Charlotte Varner says:

    A fan of yours on fb (Charlotte V.)

  16. 416
    ronda says:

    i like to spice it up with chili and cumin

  17. 417
    ronda says:

    .please excuse me i tweeted

  18. 418
    Julie L says:

    I use orgegano and a little bit of red pepper flakes
    tahnks

  19. 419
    Julie L says:

    like u on fb Julie Scott Laws

  20. 420
    Julie L says:

    email subscriber

  21. 421
    Sarah says:

    I add a healthy squirt of Sriracha!

    sarah.stern.13 at gmail dot com

  22. 422
    daniel healey says:

    I spice up the sauce by adding a little bit of sugar and honey to the sauce. The kids love it and my wife still does not know my special ingrediant.

  23. 423
    Valeen N says:

    I always add extra Oregano and some Cumen to spice it up!

  24. 424
    Claire says:

    Believe it or not.. I’ve actually heard good things about cinnamon being used in pasta sauce. I want to try it!

  25. 425
    sandra says:

    with various cheeses

  26. 426
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    SunRae says:

    I will spice up my pasta with garlic and paprika

  28. 428
    SunRae says:

    ■Fan of the Mommy Niri Facebook Page

  29. 429
  30. 430
    SunRae says:

    ■Subscribe to Mommy Niri

  31. 431
    Deb K says:

    Tomatoes and Peppers with red sauce!

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

  32. 432
    Deb K says:

    Email Subscriber too!

    deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

  33. 433
    Allyson says:

    I love to add roasted veggies (like peppers, broccoli) to my pasta to change things up. It can take a boring pasta dinner and make it fantastic!

  34. 434
    Steve Olson says:

    I spice up my pasta with pepperoni and crushed red pepper. (And of course, sauce, garlic powder, onion powder… sometimes other stuff.) I like to experiment

  35. 435
    Kate says:

    I add toasted pine nuts, crushed red pepper, roasted garlic, and grate some good parmesan cheese on my Ragu!

  36. 436
    Michelle Cain says:

    I spice up pasta by throwing in some crushed garlic, minced onion, and red pepper to taste!! LOVE it!

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    Michelle Cain says:

    I follow you on facebook (Michelle Cain)

  39. 439
    Holly says:

    I like to add different grilled meats and veggies to pasta, the grilling adds an interesting flavor!

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    Ellie W says:

    I spice it up by adding a dash of crushed red pepper or cayenne to pasta.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

  42. 442
    Ellie W says:

    I like you on FB (Ellie W)

  43. 443
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    Theresa says:

    I know it’s not a spice, but I love adding tons of mozzarella to my pasta. I love gooey, cheesey pasta!

  45. 445
    Theresa says:

    I like Mommy Niri on facebook under Theresa Mahoney

  46. 446
  47. 447
    erma says:

    I’d spice it up with the hotest peppers I can find.

  48. 448
    Betty C says:

    I add a little sugar to reduce the acidity then I add sauteed onions and garlic.

  49. 449
    Betty C says:

    I’m an email subscriber.

  50. 450
  51. 451
    Betty C says:

    I’m already a Facebook fan.
    Betty Curran

  52. 452
    kathy pease says:

    oh i would add all kinds of spices like oregano , garlic salt and whatever other spices i find in my cupboards..i love adding spices to everything

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    kathy pease says:

    like you on facebook kathy l pease

  55. 455
    Donald says:

    Well we’re not that adventurous with spices, mostly because of my wife but she did teach me to add REAL maple syrup to tomato sauces to cut the acidity and give it great flavor!

  56. 456
    Donald says:

    liked mommy niri on fb (donald light)

  57. 457
  58. 458
    Mary Ward says:

    I love to add a spicy sausage to my pasta sauce. Something with maybe some kind of pepper in it.

  59. 459
    Benjamin Dopp says:

    I like to put in Spanish churizo sausage

  60. 460
    MelissaO says:

    I used crushed red pepper, onion powder, minced garlic, and whatever else I get inspired to grab in the spice cabinet.

    wolverina401 at gmail dot com

  61. 461
    Selene M. says:

    I add sauteed veggies to give more nutrition and flavor, as well as a few dashes of hot sauce.

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    nancy says:

    i spice up pasta with oil & garlic tomato sauce, anchovies & capers

    nblexp ( at ) gmail (dot) com

  64. 464
    Jammie says:

    I would spice up some pasta, with come cheese, and ground turkey, some ragu, and baked in the oven yummy. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

  65. 465
    Jammie says:

    I subscribe via email.

  66. 466
    Jammie says:

    I like you on fb Jammie M

  67. 467
    Melodic Mom says:

    I love seasonings, so I always add lots of minced garlic, oregano, basil, & black pepper.

  68. 468
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    Dara Nix says:

    I LOVE to spice up my pasta with LOTS of garlic and crushed red pepper!

    Dara Nix
    kitty32504 at cox dot net

  70. 470
    Dara Nix says:

    I am already an e-mail subscriber – kitty32504 at cox dot net!

  71. 471
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    Dara Nix says:

    I already like your FB page (Dara Nix)!

  73. 473
    Alice C says:

    with some hot sausages in the sauce :0)

  74. 474
    Jennifer C says:

    I don’t like things too spicy but I do like to add in extra garlic and a little oregano.

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    Min says:

    I add pepper when I want to boost spice.

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    Deb K says:

    I would use the oregano that I have growing in a pot on my windowsill, and add that to my pasta sauce.

    chipper101 at hotmail dot com

  79. 479

    I spice it up by adding some meat or veggies to it. My girls love having little extras in their pasta and sauce

  80. 480

    Email subscribe (ktraverse82@gmail.com)

  81. 481
  82. 482

    Like you on FB (Karine Capobianco-Traverse)

  83. 483
    shirley pebbles says:

    I would add some cumen to it.

  84. 484
    shirley pebbles says:

    Like on Fb as shirley greenawalt zolenski

  85. 485
    Dolly Rogers says:

    jalapeno peppers,,sometimes alot..and sometimes just a pinch

  86. 486
    julieh says:

    I spice up my pasta with diced hatch green chiles!

  87. 487
    julieh says:

    like you on fb (julie hawkins)

  88. 488
    julieh says:

    tweeted the giveaway (honeypie411)

  89. 489
    Rosie says:

    I use red pepper flakes and crushed garlic to give my pasta a bit more spice.

  90. 490

    Garlic and cheese!

  91. 491
    Veronica says:

    I also use red pepper flakes, and I sometimes add oregano, basil, and mushrooms.

  92. 492
    ashley says:

    i love to spice up my pasta with sauteed spinach and onions

  93. 493
    Auriette says:

    The only spice in my cabinet is some kind of black and red pepper mix that I bought years ago (maybe decades ago) for making chili at home, which I almost never do anymore because my husband prefers canned chili. I don’t even know what spices do (other than some of the ones that make things hot, which I tend to avoid). If I can use “spice up” with its more general meaning of “make it special” then I would say that I’d add Provel cheese, which is a St. Louis speciality (seriously, we have to mail order it in) because it is soooo good.

  94. 494
    Bonnigene says:

    I love to spice up my pasta and I don’t know what my kids would think if I didn’t…I usually add just a little red pepper flakes and a touch of basil…then some extra sauted onions and garlic. yumm

  95. 495
    Inez Cegelis says:

    I like to chop up a jalapeno and throw it in.

  96. 496
    christopher h says:

    garlic – lots and lots of garlic

  97. 497
    Bam says:

    I use sweet basil, sweet italian sausage, lots of garlic, fresh tomatoes

  98. 498
    mistysunrise says:

    I add garlic, cheese, and a little jalapeno.

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  99. 499
    mistysunrise says:

    sub by email from heartsnflowers72 at gmail.com.

    if I win please email me at

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  100. 500
  101. 501
    mistysunrise says:

    like you on facebook as misty sunrise

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  102. 502
    Diana says:

    Using the freshest veggies always perks up pasta.

  103. 503
    cathy miller / rewcath says:

    I subscribe nupa123atgmaildotcom

  104. 504
    cathy miller / rewcath says:

    https://twitter.com/#!/rewcath/status/112157918807330816 tweeted @rewcath nupa123atgmaildotcom

  105. 505
    Gail W says:

    I would use cilantro on pasta.
    dgtwight at sbcglobal dot net

  106. 506
    cathy miller / rewcath says:

    http://www.facebook.com/rewcath like on facebook nupa123atgmaildotcom

  107. 507
    Courtney Conner says:

    Crushed Red pepper flakes and garlic

  108. 508
  109. 509
    Tracey Byram says:

    I add Italian sausage and cheese, cheese and more cheese.

  110. 510
    Courtney Conner says:

    Im a fan of Mommy Niri on Facebook

  111. 511
    clynsg says:

    I like a spicy tomato sauce on it–like sausage, but it doesn’t like me, so use hamburger and some extra spices such as red pepper.

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  113. 513
    Vicki D. says:

    In my pasta sauce, I use diced tomatoes with green chilis. I also add garlic powder, chili powder, and some Italian seasoning.

  114. 514
    darcie says:

    I really need this please pick me

    nice sweep

  115. 515
    darcie says:

    I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THIS

  116. 516
    darcie says:

    NICE SWEEP!!!

  117. 517
    Mary Lee says:

    I add onions several ways to the same sauce: sauted, onion salt, dehydrated onions. Onions rule!

    Mary

  118. 518
    Mary Lee says:

    Facebook fan as Mary Ann Reeves Lee.

  119. 519
    Rosey says:

    Adding a little red pepper flake to the pasta sauce gives the pasta a nice spicy zing.

  120. 520
    Rosey says:

    I am an e-mail subscriber.

  121. 521
  122. 522
    Becky says:

    My father used to put jalepenos in our spaghetti…

  123. 523
    Rosey says:

    I’m already with Mommy Niri on FB (Sarah Smile).

  124. 524
    Samantha says:

    I would add some fresh vegetables from my garden (tomatoes, peppers, basil) and an onion.

  125. 525
  126. 526
    Samantha says:

    I like you on FB. Samantha M.

  127. 527
    Susan E. says:

    I add red pepper and Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb.

    rogsdock[at]gmail[dot]com

  128. 528
    Susan E. says:

    Like you on facebook (www.facebook.com/rogsdock)

    rogsdock[at]gmail[dot]com

  129. 529
  130. 530
    Susan E. says:

    Subscribed to your email.

    rogsdock[at]gmail[dot]com

  131. 531
    Steph A says:

    I like to add red pepper flakes in my sauce sometimes to give it a little punch!

  132. 532
    Steph A says:

    I subscribe to your emails!

  133. 533
  134. 534
    Steph A says:

    I like you on facebook! stephanie a….

  135. 535
    April Grimm says:

    I would spice up my pasta with garlic and mushrooms.

  136. 536
    Lisa G. says:

    I would like to spice up my pasta sauce with garlic and onion.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  137. 537
    Lisa G. says:

    I’m already subscribed to your emails.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  138. 538
    Lisa G. says:

    I Tweeted this giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/lisalmg/status/112253398786641921
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  139. 539
    Lisa G. says:

    I like you on Facebook user Lisa Garner.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  140. 540
    Bob R says:

    I go for more flavor than spice, but garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, and red pepper make up most of my ingredients.

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    Kendra says:

    fresh herbs, garlic (gotta have it) lol

  143. 543
    amy delong says:

    cheese and garlic
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  144. 544
    amy delong says:

    subscribe
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  145. 545
    amy delong says:

    fb fan
    amyd
    ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

  146. 546
    karen flath says:

    I like to add oregano and garlic salt.

    I am a email subscriber.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  147. 547
    karen flath says:

    I like you on FB!

    Thanks for the giveaway :-)

  148. 548
    latisha depoortere says:

    I love to add garlic and onions my favorite with pasta!

  149. 549
    latisha depoortere says:

    Liked on facebook/latisha D

  150. 550
    latisha depoortere says:

    Email subscriber too

  151. 551
    lauren says:

    i add a dash of olive oil.

    laureneshapiro at gmail dot com

  152. 552
    carol y l says:

    I add fresh oregano and crimini mushrooms, plus olive oil and hamburger.
    spcale at yahoo dot com.

  153. 553
    carol y l says:

    Subscriber spcale at yahoo dot com.

  154. 554
    carol y l says:

    I already like you on Fb carol yerby lewis
    spcale at yahoo dot com.

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    Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    Would love to spice up some meals, I think my husband would enjoy the dishes more. I would use some herbs and veggies.

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    derrick may says:

    i spice up my pasta by using a bit of FRESH BASIL from my garden. YUM YUM!!

  159. 559
    CATHY TRUMAN says:

    I use onions,peppers,garlic and mushrooms.

  160. 560
    CATHY TRUMAN says:

    Liked you on Facebook.
    (Cathy Truman)

  161. 561
    Susan Smith says:

    I like to add garlic, onions and red pepper flakes

  162. 562
  163. 563
    Susan Smith says:

    Like you on FB Susan Smith

  164. 564
    Dillon Wallin says:

    I spice up my pasta with some peppers!

  165. 565
    Jaque R. says:

    This may sound a bit odd, but I always add chopped jalapenos to my pasta sauce. :-) Thank you.

  166. 566
    Jaque R. says:

    I am a of the Mommy Niri Facebook Page…and love your family photos! :-) (Jaque Richards)

  167. 567
    Anne says:

    I’d spice up pasta by adding lots of basil and pine nuts.

  168. 568
    Anne says:

    I subscribe by email
    ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

  169. 569
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    Anne says:

    I am a facebook fan (Anne Jolly)

  171. 571
    Sand says:

    I spice it up with red pepper flakes or cinnamon.

  172. 572
    brian e. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway…some red pepper flakes or a few tablespoons of your favorite hot chili sauce (i.e. Sriracha) can give your sauce a nice kick !

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  173. 573
    sheila k. says:

    capers and olive oil

  174. 574
    brian e. says:

    …”like” Mommy Niri / Facebook: bryan eason

  175. 575
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    meme says:

    I spice up mine with garlic and bay leaves

  177. 577
    meme says:

    email subscriber

  178. 578
    Sarah L says:

    I spice it up with lots of garlic and veggies.
    Thanks for the contest.

  179. 579
    Sarah L says:

    subscribe

  180. 580
  181. 581
    Sarah L says:

    FB like you: Slehan

  182. 582
    Chris Ann says:

    I would use lots of garlic and a blend of black and white pepper

  183. 583
    Chris Ann says:

    email subscriber

  184. 584
    Barbara Long says:

    I spice up pasta by adding spicy sausage.

    longbarb1@aol.com

  185. 585
    Angela A says:

    I spice up my pasta with cayenne pepper, cajun seasonings, and a creole onion mix (complete with chopped garlic, onion, bell peppers, parsley, and celery). YUM! Simple de Best!

    brownatural @ gmail.com